The Ninth Circuit consists of a variety of judges, the majority of whom are classified as “liberals.” The meaning of the word varies contingent on the subject matter, and in reading enough of their decisions you will note the high degree of reversals of state court cases in federal habeas decisions. In most cases the conviction penalty is murder. In one case a judge dissents and explains that the failure of the death penalty is
The U.S.Supreme Court has repeatedly criticized the Ninth Circuit for its habeas corpus decisions reviewing state court convictions. Recently the Justices told the Ninth Circuit not to assume your duty is correction of legal mistakes. Your test is to determine whether a breakdown has occurred in the state court justice system. The Ninth Circuit simply ignores this instruction, recites the facts and calls the case reviewed as a breakdown. In Rodriguez, the Ninth Circuit decision
In 1996 Congress enacted the AntiTerror and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) to reduce the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision adding federal habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution to jurisdiction in state courts. Federal courts began to review state court criminal cases in habeas corpus petitions to reverse judgments already decided. The imposition exceeded its expectation as federal courts rendered decisions far exceeding legislative intentions. In time, the language of the Act came very close to almost ending federal
Another murder case resolved by the Ninth Circuit whose judges regularly reverse murder cases and death penalties although the jury in Godoy v. Spearman voted only second degree murder. The California Court of Appeal had affirmed the conviction, the California Supreme Court denied review, and the district court denied a habeas corpus petition filed by the defendant. The Ninth Circuit heard the appeal from the district court and in a split vote reheard the case again on federal habeas corpus and reversed. The Ninth
In a split 9th Circuit court vote the majority Constitutionalizes a courtroom practice defined as “shackling” prisoners, and destined to affect all state and federal trial courts. The dissent is a written masterpiece rejecting the majority court decision of four men convicted several years ago. The court is ruling on: the absence of a “Case or Controversy” mandated by the Constitution; violation without precedent of the Fifth Amendment Clause; a series of adjectives describing the impaired dignity of everyone shackled; ignoring a presumption of innocence until a
Another death penalty case reversed by the same judge who reverses other capital cases (including this one earlier ), never upholding the verdict regardless of the vicious and brutal murder the jury voted correctly. In this case, scouring the record of a defendant who filed three state habeas corpus cases rejected by state courts; a previous federal habeas corpus case reversed by the 9th Circuit; the instant case reversed by the 9th Circuit. To begin, the
Another U.S. Supreme Court reversal of the Ninth Circuit by the Justices who specifically identify the mistake of that Circuit in understanding the Fourth Amendment. The Ninth Circuit had invented the “provocation rule” in criminal cases holding officers liable for conduct in violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable searches and searches. In most cases the prohibition suppresses any evidence seized in violation. Federal law has a civil component in Section 42.1983 allowing civil suit for Fourth Amendment violation although the Section does
Not a death penalty case, just life imprisonment without parole for first degree murder. The California Court of Appeals upheld the conviction and sentence; the California Supreme Court denied review; state courts denied habeas corpus. Now to the federal courts who issued and reviewed endless rulings on habeas corpus and a jury instruction until the district court granted the petition on procedural grounds. The State of California appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and two of the three judge panel affirmed.
Another state court death penalty case reversed by a Ninth Circuit panel accompanied by a strong dissenting opinion. After the jury voted the death penalty the trial judge reviewed the defendant’s record, including mitigating evidence, and confirmed the verdict. On direct appeal the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the judgment and sentence.. 1486
Were it not for the U.S. Supreme Court prior reversal of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in this case, and reversals of an untold number of other cases, the Nasby case might make sense. Nasby was convicted of murder in 1999 and is still in court filing papers. The result of the decision in this case will require more filings. Convicted in a Nevada trial court, Nasby’s direct appeal in the Nevada Supreme Court was denied.
The 9th Circuit wrote one of its worst opinions in beginning the year 2017 that collected seven dissents. In a state court murder case the jury convicted all three defendants but subsequent evidence established the jury convicted the wrong killer but sentenced death against all three. Evidence was overwhelming. The California Supreme Court affirmed the verdict although acknowledging the error. The evidence established that the one defendant was nevertheless guilty, even though, not the actual killer, under a conspiracy theory or of aiding and abetting.
The state court of appeal held that the trial court judge correctly ruled by excusing a single juror who explicitly said he would not follow the law. A perfectly correct decision but not in the 9th Circuit who reversed the state court on habeas corpus. Naturally, the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit for not following Supreme Court precedent and ignoring AEDPA. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the 9th Circuit (again) who upheld the California court this time. Yet even
Once again the 9th Circuit ignores the IJ and BIA and concludes the evidence does not support an order of removal.The panel orders the case reheard for an alien who has been in this country for eight years litigating his removal after not complying with the entrance act for asylum. The dissent writes about safety in this country and alien’s non compliance with the law. Why does the 9th Circuit want these people in this country?
Crittenden was convicted of murder in 1995, and the case affirmed on mandatory appeal to the California Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit on habeas corpus appeal wrote rehearings and remanding to the District Court. Finally in 2011 the district court made another decision on remand.The case has been sitting in the 9th Circuit for another five years. Finally, in 2015 the 9th Circuit concluded the prosecutor had violated Batson. In 2016 what are the chances of retrying a murderer? The ground for appeal by the defendant: the
Arrested, tried, and convicted for a a major robbery spree committed by Frost in 2003, (thirteen years ago) he was tried in state court, and the overwhelming evidence convinced the jury of his guilt. On appeal in state court, the justices denied his argument of “structural” error at the trial. Frost argued the trial court had refused to allow his counsel to argue the prosecution had not established its burden of proof, and, in addition he committed the robbery under duress. This inconsistent argument to
Although the Blog no longer tracks immigration cases due to the volume and fact based evidence, occasionally one appeal exemplifies the 9th Circuit. Some judges on the 9th Circuit are so predictable that their name on the panel hearing a case on appeal predicts the result. William Fletcher fits that role. He has never affirmed a death penalty case, always sides with the petitioner in habeas corpus, and allows immigrants with a criminal record to remain in the
When the Constitution was written, the authors from the thirteen states would never have approved federal court review of their own state court decisions. Only after a century of constitutional enactment did the U.S. Supreme Court discover habeas corpus enabling federal review of state criminal cases. The 9th Circuit continues to rule repeatedly on state court cases ignoring or mis applying Supreme Court decisions (for a list of decisions reversing the 9th Circuit, see Deck v. Jenkins,. Hardy is no exception. Hardy v. Chappell, a
A well written case on the Fourth Amendment. Although the Fourth Amendment is in the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court has held it is not a constitutional right nor a personal right. The purpose of the exclusionary rule is to protect the right by excluding evidence in criminal cases lacking probable cause to arrest or search and only to avoid extreme police misconduct. Evidence of exclusion in a criminal case is not excluded in civil
At least some judges on the 9th Circuit are applying the Supreme Court mandate to apply deference to state court decisions on federal habeas. To a 2-1 panel majority the petitioner had argued the prosecutor allegedly implied from her closing statements that the defendant did not take the stand and submitted no rebuttal evidence to the prosecution case. The Supreme Court has disallowed any comment at trial on the failure of a defendant to testify under the aegis of the Fifth Amendment.
Ten years ago a jury convicted Curiel of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. All state court hearings affirmed the conviction as did the three judge 9th Circuit panel. Reheard, the panel reversed on grounds the California court rules misapplied tolling. One judge, Stephen Reinhardt concurred in a lecture informing California courts how to operate. Reinhardt should know, after all, he and the 9th Circuit have been reversed by the Supreme Court more than any other court in the country . He does make